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Otley flood scheme given go-ahead

Otley flood scheme given go-ahead

Published by Harry Long at 12:13pm 17th March 2020.

A £3.4m scheme to help protect Otley from flooding has been granted planning approval by Leeds City Council.

  • The Otley Flood  Alleviation Scheme has been granted planning approval by Leeds City Council. 
  • A flood embankment will be built in the town as well as other measures to reduce flooding. 
  • The town was flooded during storms Ciara and Dennis.   

The Flood  Alleviation Scheme will see a flood embankment built along the west of Billams Hill.  There will also be vegetation management on the islands downstream of Otley weir.

The scheme has been put forward following detailed research and survey work by Leeds City Council, the Environment Agency and engineering consultants WSP - along with consultation with local residents, businesses and landowners.

The measures will reduce the likelihood of flooding from the River Wharfe to a 4% (1 in 25 years) chance of occurring in any given year, down from 20% (1 in 5 years).

Flooding Otley
Flooding in Otley

Work on the scheme will start this month, with construction expected to begin in the summer.   

Last month, storms Ciara and Dennis brought heavy rain and strong winds with Otley badly affected by flooding.

Leeds City Council officers joined community groups, flood wardens, emergency services, the Environment Agency and partners to respond and help with the clean-up.

Otley Floods

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, executive member for environment and active lifestyles said:

"The planning approval given last week is a huge success for the residents in Otley who have yet again experienced the damage caused by flooding. In the wake of storms Ciara and Dennis, there has never been a more important time to deliver real and tangible measures that help build our resilience to future flooding events and reduce the risk to people in affected areas.

"I would like to thank the teams at Leeds City Council, the Environment Agency and all of our partners for their work in reaching this major milestone, as well as the residents who have inputted into the designs. I look forward to seeing the scheme coming into fruition later this year."

John Woods Flood Risk Officer with the Environment Agency said:

"The approval of the Outline Business Case is an important step in delivering the Otley FAS. It says that the scheme is affordable, technically suitable and sustainable – essentially of all the options that were considered, this is the right one for Otley. It also formally releases the government's funding for the scheme."